Tuesday, June 03, 2014

REBEKAH'S TREASURE - Sylvia Bambola - One Free Book

Welcome, Sylvia. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There is a bit of me in all my characters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are all sinners saved by grace. Knowing this helps me understand my characters better and incorporate not only my experiences and emotions but the experiences and emotions of those I’ve witnessed over the years.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not quirky. I’m fun-loving but not quirky, and I do tend to be practical. I suppose that’s why I married a man who was completely the opposite and incredibly spontaneous. Now I could tell you plenty of stories about him. Like the time he put a pot on his head, a garbage can lid on his arm like a shield while trying to get a squirrel, that had fallen into our chimney, out of the house, but that’s another story.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
For as long as I can remember I loved telling stories. My friends and I would sit around for hours making them up. When I was in eighth grade, I actually started a novel though never finished it. But what can you expect from an eighth grader? Little staying power, there. Still, I never expected to be blessed with an actual writing career. Like I said, I’m practical. But after I was married and we were in a place financially where I didn’t need to help with the bills, I turned my attention to writing, went back to school, and began practicing my craft. My family was incredibly supportive throughout the ten long years I work at it before publishing my first novel, A Vessel of Honor, which won a Small Press Editor’s Choice Award and was seriously considered for a television movie.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Being a Bible study teacher, I read mostly nonfiction, books that will help in my understanding of the Bible or help with a topic. Recently I’ve read The Feasts of the Lord by David Mitts and Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Currently I’m reading Exo-Vaticana by Cris Putnam and Thomas Horn. All excellent.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
This is easy, by having quiet time with the Lord. I try not to miss this time and have incorporated it into my schedule as the first thing I do each morning, even before eating breakfast or dressing. This truly sets the tone of my day. By making God first it’s easier to prioritize the rest of my time, weeding out the unimportant from the important that tend to crowd our lives.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes as I review the story in my mind they just come to me. But most often I spend a good deal of time pouring over lists of names until I come across one that feel’s right or seems to fit a character’s personality.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My marriage and family. Though my husband has gone home to be with the Lord after losing his battle with cancer, we had forty-four happy years together. Like all marriages, our marriage was not perfect, but it was Christ centered, and because of that. we were able to weather the storms that came our way. And my children? What can I say about them? Do you have a few hours? Okay, then suffice it to say, they have grown into wonderful God-fearing adults, leading productive lives. These are the things I’m proud of.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A horse. No doubt about it. This may seem odd when you realize I don’t ride and I’ve never owned one, but I love their beauty, their power, their wonderful spirit, and their capacity to love and obey a kind owner/master.

What is your favorite food?
Hands down, Italian. But then I was married to an Italian and learned from a master chef, his mother. She was so kind and patient and took a young wife under her wing, one who could hardly boil water, and taught her to cook, and for this I am so grateful.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It was never with writing itself. Rather it was with the concept of marketing. I’m what they call a “hybrid,” part of a growing number of writers who have walked both sides of the publishing-world streets. That means I’ve been both traditionally published and self-published, and I can tell you that no matter what road a writer takes he/she will be saddled with the bulk of the marketing. Now like most writers, I want to write. I don’t want to be bothered with the business end of things. This was a serious obstacle I had to overcome. And how I did it was to understand that I work for the Lord and therefore I should “do all as unto Him.” When I began looking at it that way instead of self-promotion, which I hate, it became a lot easier. Notice I didn’t say it’s easy, but it is easier.

Tell us about the featured book.
Set in 70 A.D. Jerusalem, Rebekah’s Treasure takes readers to war-torn Israel, mixing history with a tale of love and suspense. In order to flee the advancing Roman army, Rebekah, along with her daughter, Esther, must leave Jerusalem as well as her husband and sons. Escaping to Pella, she joins other followers of The Way who have fled the coming danger that was foretold by an oracle years before.

But Rebekah didn’t leave empty-handed. She brought with her the cup of the Last Supper. In no time, her treasure garners attention as miracles begin occurring and believers credit the cup. It also causes outrage among the devotees of Isis who fear this “magical” cup will draw away their followers. In response they hatch a plot to steal it.

Things become more complicate when Rebekah’s daughter, Esther, runs away and Rebekah’s husband, Ethan, embarks on a quest to retrieve the hidden Temple treasure outlined in a copper scroll, and then take it to the Jewish stronghold of Masada in order to “continue the fight.”

When reading Rebekah’s Treasure readers will see history unfold as Titus’s legions lay siege to Jerusalem and the Temple. Yet amid the chaos of war, there is love and faith and hope as Rebekah and her family struggle to survive as well as discover where their true treasure lies.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Jerusalem 70 A.D.
“You can’t stay. It’s just too dangerous now.”

My husband, Ethan, stands firm, like David before Goliath, and I know I’ve lost the battle. Maybe if I had phrased it differently. Maybe if I hadn’t said those words—“we are all going to die”—maybe then he wouldn’t be standing before me now with his hand on the hilt of his dagger as though drawing courage. But too late. My tongue has already betrayed me.

“Any day now, that jackal will be here with his siege works, for what’s left for him to conquer but Jerusalem?”

“Vespasian? I thought he was in Alexandria.”

“Yes, but his son, Titus, continues his push through Judea.”

This time the words drive me to the bear of a man I have loved for twenty-six springs. My head finds its familiar resting place on his chest. He smells of sweat and Temple incense. His beating heart thunders in my ear. And amid this thunder, I hear shuffling, and know, without seeing, that the footfalls are made by our sons.

I pull away and glance at the four young men behind Ethan. All are tall and strong and handsome. Any mother would be proud. But when my eyes drift to the blue tassels that trim their tunics, my stomach clenches. I have come to hate that trim. It’s the same trim that hangs from Ethan’s tunic, “to remind him of the commandments,” he says. Does he think I’m simpleminded? Does he think I don’t know that Zealots wear blue fringe?

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @sylviabambola
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rebekahs-Treasure-Sylvia-Bambola/dp/0989970744/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392657387&sr=1-1&keywords=rebekah%27s+treasure

Thank you, Sylvia, for sharing your book with us today.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.



Sylvia Bambola said...

Lena, thank you for hosting me on your blog. Hope your readers found it interesting. I'd be happy to answer questions and will be popping in today from time to time. Blessings!

Mary Preston said...

I'm looking forward to this. Loved the first taste thank you.

Mary P


apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sylvia Bambola said...

Mary Preston and apple blossom, good luck in the book drawing.

Jean said...

Thanks for this opportunity!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Jan Hall said...

I enjoyed this interview. I liked what you said about your husband being your opposite. I think we need a balance. Now if you could find a friend who loves the marketing end of publishing to help you would be able to write more. I look forward to reading Rebekah's Treasure. I live in Texas where the temps are already reaching 100. fishingjan(at)aol(dot)com

Sylvia Bambola said...

Jean, Sharon and Jan, best of luck in the drawing!

Sylvia Bambola said...

Jan Hall, I agree, opposites do balance each other out and what a blessing that is! And, yes, someone to do my marketing for me would be ideal, but unfortunately they cost a FORTUNE! I wonder if my grandkids would hire themselves out? I bet I could get a lot out of them for the promise of an ice cream. Hummm, something to think about.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about this ook. I won it once but never received it, so am trying to win it again. It sounds really good. I love these stories about the Bible characters. Please add my name in the drawing.
Maxie from TX. mac262(at)me(dot)com

Sylvia Bambola said...

Maxie, so sorry you won Rebekah's Treasure and never received it. I have trackers on all the trade paperback copies I send out so if you give me your address, I will used the tracker and see where your book ended up.